mjl5007 wrote:It occurs to me that perhaps I could/should convert the Open Road to a Discover it to get a "bonus categories" card, and then get a Citi Double Cash to use for everyday purchases that don't fit the current categories?
Vattené wrote:I would recommend a two-pronged approach given your current situation:
- Get a cash back card for every day use. Cash back is simple and you know your return rate. The BCP or BCE are both great options. The BCP will be a workhorse for you, and as you mention net you more than the BCE given your spending estimates. Even using your most conservative figures of $400 a month on groceries with 60% at supermarkets puts you at $240/month in a bonus category. That's $86.40 per year on BCE compared to $97.80 on BCP net of the annual fee. Alternatively, if you are worried about acceptance*, consider the BofA Cash Rewards card for 3%, 2%, and 1% on gas, grocery, and everything else, respectively with no annual fee. Since you spend significantly more on groceries than gas, though, even the BCE would be a better fit strictly from a rewards perspective.
- Keep your Discover account but product change to the it card. Speak with a CSR to be sure, but it shouldn't have any impact on your credit: no hard inquiry since you are keeping the account and history, just changing the rewards structure. It isn't as straightforward as the BCP's constant categories, but you already have an account so you might as well switch it to something that will earn you more. You can use it exclusively for the 5% rotating categories if you wish. Not sure if it is the same with Open Road, but the it lets you redeem for any amount of cash back, so you can put minimal spending on it and not worry about waiting to reach a redemption threshold. Plus, signing up for bonus categories honestly is not that much of a hassle. They only change every three months and you can set reminders so you don't miss it.
*Many cite acceptance as a reservation for getting Amex or Discover, but I don't think this should be too much of a concern (unless perhaps you spend a lot at smaller/non-chain/mom-and-pop merchants). In my experience it hasn't been a problem at all, and I use Amex and Discover as my main cards. Most places that take MC/Visa will at least take either Discover or Amex. You may have to use debit once in a long while but if rewards are a big priority, they will greatly outweigh the inconvenience.